It was not difficult to predict that Arizona and UCLA, the Pac-12’s best teams, would win their first two games and play in the Sweet Sixteen. Might have been a little harder to predict the same of Stanford, which entered as a No. 10 seed and knew it faced a potential second-round matchup against Kansas.
But the Cardinal won its first game over New Mexico, then won that Sunday matchup with Kansas, 60-57, to knock the No. 2 seed Jayhawks out and give Johnny Dawkins his first Sweet Sixteen appearance as a coach — in his first NCAA tournament appearance. And to think: Dawkins’ job was in jeopardy as recently as maybe a month ago.
On to the links …
— First, let’s update our TNT Bracket Challenge standings. The leaders — “Marshall’s Perfect Bracket” and “@ChrisAplin Bracket of Defeat” — are tied with 50 points each, and each of them have correctly picked 38 of the 48 games played.
— Stanford played more physical than Kansas, and that’s why the Cardinal won.
— UCLA had little trouble moving past Stephen F. Austin, running away with a 77-60 victory. The Bruins will play against Florida — the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed — next week in Memphis, Tenn.
— Arizona looked every bit like the No. 1 seed that it is, steamrolling Gonzaga in an 84-61 victory that sends the Wildcats to a Sweet Sixteen matchup with No. 4 seed San Diego State in Anaheim, Calif., next week.
— The UW baseball team improved to 14-5-1 with an 8-0 victory to sweep the weekend series from Arizona. The Huskies have won 13 of their last 14 games, and are tied atop the Pac-12 standings.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple